Chris James talks to Isaac Birchall about his passion for making music.

Growing up in the small market town of Ruthin in North Wales, away from busy cities where people rush around all day in a blur, this young man developed a laid-back, observant, yet out-going attitude to life. And when he first picked up the guitar at the age of 8 or 9, that attitude slowly transformed into his music, and his unique sound began to form.

“I like to think my music is homegrown in every way” he said. “From my teenage years, I was really turned onto heavy metal, everything from the thrash greats to modern metal, it’s power & energy were what drove me to practice playing guitar and to learn to sing”.

But it turned out that writing metal isn’t actually what he wanted to do. His head was bursting with lyrics and melodies just waiting to be brought together.  He explained: “After a few years locked away in my room, which slowly became a home studio, I emerged, albeit smelly but with ideas, ideas that could only be expressed through music.”

“I don’t think my style claims any single genre, it’s a mixture of predominantly rock-based music, but with a melody & tune not usually synonymous with what is normally done. Ideas which would be thrown out by other musicians became incorporated. The point: to make a sound which is truly mine, rather than a sound which fit a genre”.

Over the next few years Isaac wrote and recorded more music. All done in his tiny home studio, crammed with budget equipment and  empty beer cans. Over time these songs shaped themselves, from hundreds of riffs, ideas, half-written lyrics, into a collection which really represents Isaac in both sound and lyric.

During 2010, Isaac became serious about the music scene and began performing live, a path from which he has not strayed since. He got such a buzz from being a solo musician on stage and his rhythmic and loud playing style and distinctive voice created a live sound which got heads turning and people talking.

Wanting to take things a step further than the majority of the “two 45 minute slots” acts, he assembled a set of original songs and covers had a running time of two and a half hours, and took on any local music venue he could find.

Since then he has recorded (wait for it) an acoustic rock cover, of a dubstep remix, of a pop song by Clare Maguire called “Ain’t Nobody”.   This had originally been remixed by James Breakage and it was this version Isaac covered, but in a completely relaxed and laid-back way. This instantly took off, and collected thousands of YouTube hits, gained critical acclaim from the original artist and resulted in extensive newspaper coverage.

In 2011 Isaac spent more time gigging the local North Wales circuit, eventually meeting Wrexham-based radio DJ Gavin Sharpe, who booked him to headline one of his Acoustic Live shows.

Having honed his shows, set-list and performances, and receiving even more local press coverage, Gavin then booked him to play his Acoustic Live Radio show on Calon FM beginning 2012 opening him up to larger audiences and receiving massive positive reviews for the live session, especially his cover of Foo Fighters’ “Best of You”.

Since that radio show, Isaac  has been breaking onto the larger and more open music scene, with interest from Kerrang/Q Radio, as well as an introduction into playing venues such as Central Station in Wrexham, well known for being a “step up” in the gigging scene.

“Management is a next step for me”, he said, “unfortunately I’m not quite as adept at all the boring admin stuff as I am at thrashing around on stage!”

A band is always a possibility in the future, to fill-out the live performances, and an album has been recorded, some new tracks and some re-recorded demo’s.  “All recorded in my lovely girlfriend’s front room which has been converted into a makeshift studio – as an ode to real homegrown and homemade music” he laughs.

Isaac has proven he can keep moving onward and upward. There’s no stopping this one!